How to bet boxing: Expert tips and strategies

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

August 9th, 2019

When it comes to picking boxing matches, making an educated pick goes well beyond a simple glance at the odds and an opponent’s record. By getting a better understanding of what each fighter brings into the ring and identifying potential paths for victory, it becomes easier to formulate a solid pick.

Analyze each fighter's last five bouts

Boxing is a momentum-based sport, and because of that, how a fighter has performed over the course of their last five fights is the most critical component when picking a fight. Because of inactivity, injury or other external delays, a five-fight window should tell us everything we need to be know about a fighter’s current status.

Assessing a fighter’s overall résumé provides valuable insight, as well. We can see which styles a fighter excels and struggles against, and how their current opponent stacks up in comparison to their body of work.

Consider each fighter's advantages and disadvantages

The favorite’s advantages in punching power, speed and technique are going to overshadow deficiencies such as endurance, physical fitness and punch resistance, but these negative aspects cannot be ignored. Can the fighter impose their game plan with minimal risk? Are they fighting an opponent with a suspect chin? Do they have a tendency to cut or greatly tire late in the fight? Is the experience gap wide enough to nullify their opponent’s potential advantages?

Manny Pacquiao opened as an underdog to Keith Thurman for their bout July 20, but on the eve of the fight, he was made the favorite against a foe more than 10 years his junior. Pacquiao’s speed and offensive output caught Thurman off guard early, and Thurman tired greatly under the older man's sustained pressure, to the point where he needed a knockout to win and was too tired to deliver such a blow.

Look for style mismatches

If the odds are long for an underdog, the key aspects to look out for is style mismatch and recent performances. Underdogs might have tools to exploit those flaws, and they might be overlooked when matched up against a big-name opponent.

Andy Ruiz was a significant underdog ahead of his fight with Anthony Joshua, but what went unnoticed was how Joshua’s leaky defense could play right into Ruiz’s hands as a fighter who has deceptive power and inside fighting skills. Joshua got dropped four times and the fight was stopped in the seventh round, as Ruiz scored the year’s biggest upset so far.

Revisit the odds

After you get an understanding of each fighter and how they operate in the ring, it would be a good time to revisit the odds and see if they correlate with your opinion. If you think there's an edge or value, bet accordingly before the bell rings.

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